Staying Cool partners with local illustrators Birmingham Window Artists for the launch of Creative Heights II
We take enormous pride in partnering and promoting Brum’s independent restaurants, creative artists and designers.
It’s been at the heart of our work since we opened our Rotunda doors 15 years ago with most of our in-apartment treats being supplied by local companies, such as coffee beans roasted at Quarter Horse.
So, what better way of demonstrating this than giving over our penthouse windows to talented Birmingham illustrators Anna and Luke – aka Window Artists – to create a special design for Creative Heights II – our year of events focusing on the city’s art and heritage (with a bit of fab food and drink for good measure).
The Window Artists brief was to celebrate another of our passions – Birmingham’s post-war and Brutalist architecture – with a super-sized and super-COOOOL artwork.
And, wow, how they’ve met the brief! We adore the striking, stylised end result.
The illustration is a montage of the great and good of 1950s, 60s and 70s Birmingham featuring Alpha Tower, New Street Signal Box, Smallbrook Queensway, the old Central Library (ah, we miss it so), plus, of course, our home – Rotunda.
Staying Cool guests will know how we love to shine a light on Brum’s much-maligned and often under-threat recent architecture and the Window Artists artwork does exactly that, in unique style.
Among the many buildings is the Smallbrook Ringway, which is yards away from Staying Cool and was designed by James A. Roberts, the architect of Rotunda.
The Ringway building is under threat of demolition to be replaced with mixed-use buildings. We think that with a bit of TLC it could be a stunning piece of post-war architecture once again. Action group Brutiful Birmingham is campaigning to save the building and see it repurposed instead of demolition. We’ll be keeping an eye on any updates for our Brutalism blog.
In addition to Smallbrook Ringway, several other buildings featured in our new window artwork can be seen directly from Staying Cool’s penthouses and apartments (hello, Alpha Tower!), which makes the illustration even more special.
You can see the New Street Signal Box, recently decommissioned but, we hope, a new future secured through its listed status, plus Centre City Tower which, rather curiously, had a theatre space in its lower levels as part of planning requirements when it was constructed in the early 1970s. The theatre was never opened and it was converted to extra offices in the 1990s.
Our wonderful window montage provided the perfect backdrop to our Creative Heights II launch night and will be in place to be enjoyed by Staying Cool guests for the next few weeks.
Guests who came along to the launch were given another celebration of local architecture – a Rotunda Pale ale, a limited edition beer we’ve launched in collaboration with Birmingham Brewing Company.
The beer has been flying off the shelves since being launched with the most recent batch now sold out, but keep an eye on the Birmingham Brewing Co website for signs of a potential restock!
Back to our windows, and we’ve captioned the buildings featured in the artwork in this image, which shows how Window Artists tackled their work. Spot any Brutalist beauties you know and love?
If, like us, you love Birmingham photography, architecture, art and literature, take a look at the Creative Heights II programme of special events to see if anything catches your eye, and we hope to see you at Staying Cool soon.